June 11, 2010
The Central Executive Committee of the Young Communist League of Canada condemns in the strongest terms the illegal, terrorist attack by Israel against the flotilla bringing solidarity aid to Palestine. We endorse the June 5 Global Day of Action. We call upon all progressive and democratic youth in Canada to join these demonstrations and mobilize against the Apartheid state of Israel, and for youth and student activists to step-up their struggle for solidarity with the Palestinian peoples.
The Harper Conservative federal government could have expressed the sentiments of the Canadian people on this matter and sharply criticized this action; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in meetings at the time with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Instead, Harper has supported the U.S. initiative to neutralize the UN security council resolution for an inquiry into the crimes, by demanding Israel should investigate itself, instead of an independent UN investigation.
We endorse the call of the World Federation of Democratic Youth who have re-asserted their commitment to put the Palestinian cause as a main theme of the 17th World Festival of Youth and Students in Pretoria, South Africa, this September and called upon on the youth of the world to realize the facts about the role and the nature of Israel and demand from their governments immediate actions against Israel and in support of the sovereign Palestinian people.
June 2, 2010
June 9, 2010
Since March 26, neither Obama nor the South Korean President have been able to explain what actually happened with the flagship of the South Korean Navy, the sophisticated submarine fighter Cheonan, which was taking part in an exercise with the US Navy to the west of the Korean Peninsula, near the border of the two republics, where 46 died and tens sustained injuries.
What’s embarrassing for the empire is that its ally may learn from reliable sources that the ship was sunk by the United States. There is no way to avoid that fact which will follow them like a shadow.
Elsewhere in the world, the circumstances similarly apply to much more dangerous events than those of East Asia; they can’t be helped, and there is nothing the super-powerful empire can do to stop them.
Israel would not refrain from activating and using –with full independence—the considerable nuclear power built by the United States in that country. To believe otherwise would be to ignore reality.
Another very serious issue is that there is no way the United Nations can change the course of events, and very soon the arch-reactionaries ruling Israel will clash with the indomitable resistance of Iran, a nation with a population of 70 million and well known religious traditions that will not accept the insolent threats of any adversary.
In short: Iran will not submit to the Israeli threats.
As it is only natural, the people of the world are increasingly enjoying the great sports events, those related to recreation and culture, and others that occupy their limited free time in the midst of the duties that take up a large portion of their time dedicated to daily chores.
Shortly, the Football World Cup to be contested in South Africa will take up all of their free hours as they follow with growing excitement the vicissitudes of the most popular characters.
They will follow every step taken by Maradona and remember the spectacular goal he scored that determined Argentina’s victory in one of the classics. Again, another Argentinean is coming up spectacularly; he is a short man but he is very fast, he whizzes like a lightning and with his head or legs shoots the ball at amazing speed. His last name, Messi, of Italian descent, is already known to and repeated by the fans.
The fans imagination goes wild with the images of the numerous stadiums where the competitions take place. The architects and designers have created works never dreamed of by the public.
The governments, forced to go from one meeting to another to discharge the obligations that the new times have placed on their shoulders, have no time to know the mountain of news constantly carried by radio, television and the printed press.
Almost everything depends exclusively of the information provided by their advisers. Some of the most powerful and important Heads of State, who make the fundamental decisions, customarily use the cell phones to communicate among themselves several times a day. An increasing number of millions of people in the world live attached to such devices even though no one knows the effect they will have on human health. This softens the envy we could feel for not being able to enjoy such possibilities in our time, a time that is rapidly moving away in very few years and almost imperceptibly.
Yesterday, in the midst of the turmoil, there was a report that today the UN Security Council might vote a pending resolution to decide on the imposition of a fourth round of sanctions to Iran for refusing to cease the enrichment of uranium.
The irony of this situation is that if it were Israel, the United States and its closest allies would immediately say that Israel did not sign the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty and veto the resolution.
However, if Iran is simply accused of producing up to 20% enriched uranium, there is an immediate request to apply economic sanctions to strangle that country; and it is obvious that Israel would act as usual, with fascist fanaticism, the same as the soldiers of the elite troops dropped from helicopters before daybreak on those traveling in the solidarity flotilla carrying food to the people besieged in Gaza, killing several people and injuring tens of them who were later arrested alongside the crews of the ships.
Obviously, they will try to destroy the facilities where Iran is enriching part of the uranium it produces. It is also evident that Iran will not accept such inconsistent treatment.
The consequences of the US imperial imbroglios could be catastrophic and affect every inhabitant of the planet much more than all of the economic crises combined.
Fidel Castro Ruz
June 8, 2010
June 8, 2010
Three-day Strike for Israel commercial vessels
Dear colleagues, trade unionists and workers,
The Secretariat of the World Federation of Trade Unions has today decided to call a strike for three days at all ports of the world against Israel commercial vessels to or from Israel.
We call on all naval workers, dock workers and all workers and all unions in the ports to refuse to load or unload ships coming or heading for Israel.
The TUI Transport of the WFTU is at the forefront of this strike.
This action is a practical demonstration of the militant solidarity with the Palestinian People. This is a proof of militant solidarity against the blockade of the Gaza Strip.
In this way we express our demand for an independent and democratic Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. Furthermore, we demand the immediate lifting of the blockade on the Gaza Strip.
We condemn the killings of nine Turkish activists and once again we express our sincere condolences to their families.
The world working class watches with dismay the tactics of the UN and the hypocrisy of the European Union. At the same time, we are aware of the inter-capitalist competition and the dangers it creates for the peace in the region of Southeast Mediterranean.
Moreover, it is clear that the Israeli government could not carry out these crimes with impunity without the support and encourage of the U.S. and its allies.
Colleagues, trade union leaders at the ports of the world,
No one must remain silent! No one must remain neutral!
We must act now because we are all Palestinians!
You decide the dates in the month of June for the three days of strike-boycott against the Israel policy. You choose the best way to react, the best way of showing solidarity with the heroic struggle of the Palestinian People. Let´s all act now.
3-day strike in all ports
* Stop the blockade of Gaza now
* free, independent and democratic Palestinian Sate
Messages of solidarity: General Union of Palestinian Workers e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs : email@example.com
TUI Transport e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
WFTU e-mail: email@example.com
European Union e-mail: COMM-SPP-HRVP-ASHTON@ec.europa.eu
UN e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
40, Zan Moreas street, Athens 11745 GREECE
Tel. +302109214417, +302109236700, Fax +30210 9214517
www.wftucentral.org E-mails : email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
June 7, 2010
Kevin Neish, one of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla activists kidnapped by Israeli troops on May 31, was interviewed by Mark Forsythe on CBC's radio show B.C. Almanac, on Thursday, June 3. The following is a transcript by People's Voice editor Kimball Cariou.
CBC: Three Canadians seized in an Israeli raid are now on their way home. They were in that Flotilla bound for the Gaza Strip on Monday when they had a confrontation with Israeli commandos. Nine people were killed. Kevin Neish was one of those Canadians on board. We reached him earlier in Istanbul, Turkey, where he is staying before he returns to Canada. I began by asking him how he is feeling.
Kevin Neish: Well, I feel a lot safer.
CBC: What happened and when did you realise that Israeli commandos were coming aboard the ship that you were on?
Neish: There's two stairwells going between the two decks at either end of the ship. I was in the forward stairwell. Actually I did see the fighting. The Israelis were sticking guns in the first deck doorway and firing into the hallway.
CBC: The Israelis have released video that they say shows people on board hitting the commandos with sticks and throwing commandos overboard. Did you see that?
Neish: I was in the middle of it. I was walking in the blood. I was stepping over dead bodies. They brought a lot of people in, dead and alive, of the Arabs and the two Israelis. The Israelis were not hurt. I watched them go down the stairs. I followed them to make sure they weren't hurt, as far as I could.
CBC: Kevin, to your knowledge, how many people were killed on board that vessel that you were on.
Neish: All the deaths that they talk about happened on our vessel. On all the other ships there was no fighting, as far as I understand. They simply took over, there were not enough crew to do anything. On my ship, I saw two dead for sure when they took over the bridge and the captain announced, "stop fighting, the bridge has been taken over." The lower deck lobby area, when I went down at the end it was covered with bodies. They were all writhing, people were jumping on chests trying to keep them alive. There was blood everywhere, bodies everywhere. I had blood on my pants.
CBC: There are allegations that IHH, the group behind putting this flotilla together, is an extremist group that has ties to Hamas and al-Qaeda. Are you aware of that in any way? What do you know about that?
Neish: I don't know anything about that. What I saw was a ship full of humanitarian workers, a ship full of aid, a ship full of women. There was a whole deck of women. Old men. They had the patriarch, an 89 year old man, he was arrested and beat up. What I know is that I was threated by the Israelis a number of times. When I was chained up they wouldn't let me go to the bathroom for 15 hours. You had to beg to go to the bathroom. It was quite disgusting and filthy.
CBC: This is when you were in custody with the Israelis?
Neish: They had me tied up with plastic handcuffs for about 25 hours on the ship. I was one of the last ones to be released off the ship. That's why the embassy thought I was dead, because I was one of the last released. Then I was jailed in Beersheba for a couple of days as well.
CBC: Do you have any worries at all that you were co-opted by a group that had ulterior motives?
Neish: No. No, no, no. (Laughs). No, I can say again, no. No question in my mind. If they wanted to defend that ship they would have brought weapons on board. What happened immediately before the Israelis attacked, the crew and the aid workers were running around the ship finding things to defend themselves with. They didn't bring anything with them. When I came on board they searched my bag. I had a pocket knife in my bag. They threw it away because they wouldn't allow any weapons on board in anybody's baggage. Immediately before, when it was obvious the Israelis were going to attack, I could hear grinders going. They were grinding the chains off the fencing around the ship so they had something to use. If they were planning on attacking the Israelis with weapons, they would have brought weapons with them.
CBC: Kevin, after this horrifying experience for you, would you do this again?
Neish: I have been invited back, and they say they are going back. They wanted people like me to be there to witness it and vouch for what happened. They seemed to be pleased with my actions. They have invited me back. They say they are going to go in a few weeks, I just heard. I wouldn't do that. I need a bit of time to rest and get things straightened out.
I can tell you that I was treated very poorly by the Israelis. Like I say, I was 15 hours without being allowed to go to the washroom, and 24 hours without really being allowed to stand. I had guns put in my face, I had a revolver put right into my face. I had people aim guns at me steady. Any time I tried to rise up and stretch, I had a gun on me. I had a dog snapping at me. You try and sit in one spot for 25 hours, with your hands trussed in front of you, and if you ask for the bathroom too many times, a soldier would walk over, take the tie wrap and yank on it and cinch it up so tight, the back of my right hand is still numb.
The whole night in the prison, both nights, they'd walk around every two hours and yell in the doors, "who's in here, what country?" And we'd all say, "well, I'm Canadian," and upstairs the guys saying "Turkey." I thought this was strange, why are they doing this all night, every two hours? Turned out every cell block had the same thing happening. They would walk around with lights on, yell into the room, saying "tell me, which countries are you from?" This kept us awake all night. That was after two nights of no sleep, with the fighting and everything else. It was calculated, it was cruel, and it was demeaning.
CBC: When will you be returning to British Columbia?
Neish: I'm coming back on the 5th. I will be in Toronto at 3:30 on the 5th, flying Turkish Airlines, which is flying me home. The government of Turkey is flying the foreigners wherever they want in the world.
As far as being co-opted by anybody, I'm not an idiot. I've done this all my life. I've been in Guatemala, El Salvador, Colombia, and Palestine earlier. Nobody co-opts me. I'm not co-opted. If anybody says I'm co-opted, come and tell me to my face. I wasn't born yesterday.
CBC: Thank you very much for your description of what you experienced. and we wish you a safe journey home. Thanks so much.
Neish: Thank you very much then, Mark.
CBC: Kevin Neish is a Canadian from Victoria. He was on board the Flotilla bound for Gaza. A rally and vigil for those killed on the Flotilla will be held at Centennial Square in Victoria on Saturday at 11 in the morning. Stay tuned for latest developments on this story.
Reflections by comrade Fidel
Our times are characterized by an unprecedented event: the threat to the survival of the human species imposed on the world by imperialism.
The painful reality should not come as a surprise to anyone. It could be seen rapidly advancing in the past few decades, at such a pace as it is hard to imagine.
Does it mean that Obama is the promoter of this threat or that he is responsible for it? No, it simply shows that he ignores reality and that he neither wants to go beyond it nor could he. He’d rather dream of unreal things in an unreal world. As a brilliant poet put it: “Ideas with no words; words with no meaning.”
Even though American author Gay Talese, who’s considered one of the main representatives of the new journalism, assured on May 5 –as reported by a European press agency—that Barack Obama embodies the best of the US history in the past century, an opinion that could be partly shared, that does not change the objective reality of human fate.
Such developments as the recent environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico show how little the governments can do against those in control of capital. These are the ones who, both in the United States and in Europe, through the economy of our globalized planet decide the fate of the peoples. Let’s take as an example the measures taken by the US Congress itself, and published by the mainstream media from that country and from Europe, as they have been disseminated via Internet, word for word.
“Radio and TV Marti lie in their broadcasts of baseless information, admits a US Senate Foreign Relations Committee report recommending that both stations are definitely transferred from Miami to Washington to be “fully” integrated to the Voice of America propaganda machinery.
“In addition to deceiving its audience” […] “both stations use ‘an offensive and inflammatory language’ that disqualifies them.
“After 18 years, Radio and TV Marti have failed ‘to make sensitive inroads in the Cuban society or to influence the Cuban government’…
“The report made public this Monday recommends merging the Office of Cuba Broadcasts (OCB) with the Voice of America, the official US government propaganda radio station.
“’Problems associated with disrespect for traditional journalistic rules, a minimum audience, radio interference by the Cuban government and allegations of nepotism and cronyism have plagued the program from the beginning,’ concedes the Committee chaired by Democratic Senator John Kerry.
“The Committee recommends to urgently taking the two stations out of Miami underlining the necessity to balance the hiring of personnel to turn out a non-politicized and professional ‘product,’ the senators say.
“The Kerry report makes reference to Alberto Mascaro, a nephew of the wife of Pedro Roig, Director General of Radio and TV Marti, who was hired thanks to his family connection and appointed director of the Latin American services of the Voice of America.
“The document offers a detailed account of how on February 2007, the former director of the TV Marti programming, ‘alongside a relative who is a member of Congress,’ have confessed to a federal court having received nearly $112,000 in illegal commissions from an OCB contractor. The former OCB employee was sentenced to 27 months in jail and a $5,000 fine for stashing ‘50% of all the money paid by TV Marti for the production of programs by the Perfect Image firm.’
This is as far the article goes that is signed by Jean Guy Allard and published by the Telesur web site.
Another article by US professors Paul Drain and Michele Barry from the Stanford University (California) and reproduced in the Rebelion web site goes as follows:
“The US blockade on Cuba proclaimed after Fidel Castro’s revolution ousted Batista’s regime is 50 years old this 2010. Its stated objective has been to help the Cuban people to attain democracy but a US Senate report from 2009 concluded that ‘the unilateral blockade on Cuba has failed.’
“…Despite the blockade, Cuba has achieved better healthcare results than most Latin American countries and comparable with those of most of the developed nations. Cuba’s average life expectancy is the highest (78.6 years) and it also has the highest density of medical doctors per capita –59 doctors to 10,000 people--, and the lowest mortality rate for children under one year of age (5.0 per 1,000 life births) and infant mortality (7.0 per 1,000 life births) among the 33 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.
“In 2006, the Cuban government allocated about $355 per capita for healthcare” […] “The annual healthcare cost assigned to an American citizen that same year was $6,714 […] Cuba also assigned less funds to healthcare than most of the European countries. But, the low costs of healthcare do not explain Cuba’s successes which could be attributed to a greater emphasis on prevention and primary care that the island has been cultivating during the American commercial blockade.
“Cuba has one of the most advanced primary care systems of the world. The education of its population in disease prevention and healthcare promotion has made the Cubans less dependent from medical products to keep the population healthy. The opposite happens in the United States which depends highly on medical provisions and technologies to keep its population healthy but at very high economic costs.
“Cuba has the highest rates of vaccination in the world as well as the highest number of baby deliveries assisted by expert healthcare workers. The clinical care provided in doctors’ offices, policlinics and the largest regional and national hospitals are free of charge for patients…
“On March 2010, the US Congress introduced a bill to strengthen the healthcare systems and increase the number of healthcare experts sent to developing countries” […] “Cuba continues sending doctors to work in some of the poorest nations on the planet, something it started doing in 1961.
“Given the recent support to a healthcare reform in the United States, the possibility exists lo learn from Cuba some good lessons on how to develop a really universal healthcare system with an emphasis on primary care. The adoption of some of Cuba’s most successful healthcare policies could be a first step toward the normalization of relations. The US Congress could instruct the Medicine Institute to study the successes of Cuba’s healthcare system and how to start a new era of cooperation between American and Cuban scientists.”
On the order hand, the Tribuna Latina web site recently ran an article on the new Immigration Law in Arizona:
“According to a survey made public by the CBS network and The New York Times, 51% of the people feel that the Law is the right way to approach immigration while 9% feels it should go further on the matter. On the other hand, 36% feel that they have gone ‘too far’ in Arizona.
“…two out of three republicans support the measure” […] “while only 38% of democrats are in favor of said Law…
“On the other hand, one out of two recognizes that it is ‘very likely’ that as a result of this rule ‘certain racial or ethnic groups are arrested more frequently than others’ and 78% admits that it will bring and additional burden on the law enforcement agents.
“Likewise, 70% feel that it is likely that as a result of the measure the number of illegal residents and the arrival of new immigrants in the country may be reduced…”
On Thursday May 6, 2010, an article was published in Argenpress signed by journalist Vicky Pelaez under the heading “Arizona: A Nobody with Airs,” that starts with a phrase from Frabklin D. Roosevelt who said: “Remember, always remember, that we are all descendants of immigrants and revolutionaries.”
It is such a well drafted document that I don’t want to conclude this Reflection without its inclusion.
“The massive marches of this May Day repudiating the infamous anti-immigrant legislation passed in Arizona have shaken the entire United States. Simultaneously, thousands of Americans, politicians, lawyers, artists, and civic organizations demanded from the federal government to declare unconstitutional the SB1070 Act which bears similarities with laws passed by Nazi Germany and by South Africa under the apartheid regime.
“However, despite the strong pressure against the infamous legislation, neither the State government nor 70% of the people there want to accept the seriousness of the situation they have created to use the undocumented migrants as culprits of the severe economic crisis they are enduring. They are radicalizing their racist policy while asking money from Barack Obama to pay for 15,000 law enforcement agents. Governor Jan Brewer has stated that ‘illegal immigration leads to higher criminality and the emergence of terrorism in the State.’
“Equaling undocumented migrants to terrorists entitles the police to shoot at people not only for the color of their skin, the clothing they wear, what they carry in their hands o even for the way they walk. This will no doubt also affect the 280,000 Native Americans living marginalized and in dire poverty as well as other minorities in addition to the Hispanics who found refuge and a job in that arid zone of the United States.
“Following in the steps of Republican Pat Buchanan who says that ‘the United States should launch a stronger crusade for the liberation of America from the savage hordes of foreign needy carrying exotic diseases,’ Governor Brewer, after charging on the undocumented day laborers, construction workers, house maids, gardeners, and janitors has channeled her campaign against teachers of Hispanic descent.
“According to her new decree, the teachers with a marked accent will not be allowed to teach in schools. But her crusade does not end there since all throughout history ‘ethnic cleansing’ has always been accompanied by ideology. As from now, ‘ethnic studies and projects’ are no longer permitted in schools. They are also forbidding the teaching of such issues as may promote resentment toward any race or social class. This implies politicizing knowledge and turning into a reality the myths created by the American system. It also means banishing highly respected American thinkers like Alexis de Tocqueville who said in 1835 that ‘the place where an Anglo-American sets his boot is forever his. The province of Texas still belongs to Mexicans but soon there will not be a Mexican there. And the same will happen anywhere else.’
“The only conscience known to the racists is hatred and the only weapon to beat it is solidarity among human beings. This State was already defeated when it refused to consider Martin Luther King’s day a holiday and the boycott was strong and resounding…”
Fidel Castro Ruz
May 7, 2010
Reflections by comrade Fidel
Leaving aside the problems afflicting human beings today, our Homeland had the privilege of being the cradle of one of the most extraordinary thinkers born in this hemisphere: Jose Marti.
Tomorrow, May 19th, will be 115th anniversary of his glorious death.
It would not be possible to appreciate the scope of his greatness without bearing in mind that the drama of his life was written with such extraordinary personalities as Antonio Maceo, an everlasting symbol of revolutionary firmness and the protagonist of the Baragua Protest, and Maximo Gomez, a Dominican internationalist and a teacher of Cuban combatants in the two wars of independence in which they took part. The Cuban Revolution, that for more than half a century has endured the battering of the most powerful empire that ever existed, was the result of the teachings of those predecessors.
Despite the fact that four days of entries to Marti’s diary have remained out of reach to historians, what is reflected in the rest of that carefully written personal diary and other documents belonging to him suffices to know the details of what happened. Just like in the Greek tragedies, it was a discrepancy among giants.
On the eve of his death in combat he wrote to his dear friend Manuel Mercado: “…Every day now I am in danger of giving my life for my country and my duty –since I understand it and have the spirit to carry it out—in order to prevent, by the timely independence of Cuba, the United States from extending its hold across the Antilles and falling with all the greater force on the lands of our America. All I have done up to now and I will do is for that. It has had to be done in silence, and indirectly, for there are things that must be concealed in order t o be attained: proclaiming them for what they are would give rise to obstacles too formidable to be overcome.”
When Marti wrote these lapidary words, Marx had already written The Communist Manifesto in 1848, that is, 47 tears before Marti’s death, and Darwin had published his book on The Origin of Species in 1859, just to mention the two works that, in my view, have most influenced the history of mankind.
Marx was so extraordinarily selfless that perhaps his most important scientific work, The Capital, would have never been published if Frederic Engels had not collected and ordered the materials to which the author devoted his entire life. Engels did not only do that but was also the author of a work entitled Introduction to the Dialectics of Nature, where he anticipated the moment when the energy of the sun was depleted.
Man did not know then how to release the energy contained in the matter which Einstein described in his famous formula nor did he have the computers capable of performing billions of operations per second and of collecting and transmitting the billions of reactions per second that occur in the cells of the tens of pairs of chromosomes equally contributed by mother and father, a genetic and reproductive phenomenon that I learned about only after the victory of the Revolution, as I was looking for the best characteristics to be used in the production of food of animal origin in the conditions of our climate, which can be applied to plants subjected to the same heredity laws.
The incomplete education that the people with more resources received in school, --mostly private schools which were considered the best education centers-- made us illiterates with a little higher level than those who could neither read nor write or who attended public schools.
On the other hand, the first country in the world that attempted to implement Marx ideas was Russia, the least industrialized in Europe.
Lenin, who established the First International, believed that there was not any organization in the world more loyal to Marx’s ideas than the Bolshevik fraction of the Social Democrat Workers’ Party of Russia. Although a large part of that immense country lived in semi feudal conditions, its working class was very active and extremely combative.
Lenin was a restless critic of chauvinism in the books he wrote as of 1915. In his work Imperialism, Higher Stage of Capitalism written in April 1917, --months before the Bolshevik fraction of that Party seized power from the Menshevik fraction-- he showed that he was the first to understand the role to be played by the countries subjected to colonialism such as China and other very important nations in various regions of the world.
At the same time, Lenin’s courage and audacity showed in his acceptance of the armored train that, for reasons of tactical convenience, the German army offered him to travel from Switzerland to the proximity of Petrograd. Due to this action his enemies, both inside and outside the Menshevik fraction of the Social Democrat Workers’ Party of Russia, would soon accuse him of being a German spy. But if he had not used the famous train, the end of the war would have found him in distant and neutral Switzerland thus missing the optimal adequate minute.
Somehow, chance would have it that, thanks to their personal qualities, two sons of Spain would end up playing a prominent role in the Spanish-American War: the chief of the Spanish troops in the fortification of El Viso, which defended the access to Santiago from the heights of El Caney, an officer who fought until he was mortally wounded and who caused more than three hundred casualties among the Rough Riders –tough American riders organized by then Lieutenant Colonel Theodore Roosevelt and who were forced by the hasty landing to leave their ardent horses behind—, and the Admiral who, following the stupid orders of the Spanish government, set sail from the Santiago de Cuba bay carrying on board the Marine Corps, a selective force, and left with his squadron the only way he could, that is, parading his ships, one by one, in the narrow access in front of the powerful Yankee fleet, which displayed its armored ships with its powerful cannons to shoot against the much slower and weak Spanish ships. As it was only logical, the Spanish ships with their combat troops and marines were sunk in the deep waters of the Bartlett Trench. Only one of them could make it to a few meters from the border of the abyss. The survivors of that force fell captive of the United States squadron.
Martinez Campos was arrogant and vindictive. As he was full of hatred for his failed attempt at pacifying the island like in 1871, he supported the vile and rancorous policy of the Spanish government. Valeriano Weyler was his replacement in command of Cuba; this man, in cooperation with those who sent the warship Maine looking for a justification for an intervention in Cuba, decreed the concentration of the population, an action that brought great suffering to the Cuban people and served as a pretext to the United States for the imposition of its first economic blockade, which caused a great shortage of food and the death of countless people.
Thus were facilitated the Paris negotiations where Spain renounced every right of sovereignty and property over Cuba after over 400 years of occupation in the name of the King of Spain, since mid October 1492, when Christopher Columbus said: “This is the most beautiful land that human eyes ever saw.”
The Spanish version of the battle that decided the fate of Santiago de Cuba is more widely known; and, undoubtedly there were shows of heroism. This is clear from the number of officers and soldiers involved and the ranks of the former. They all defended the city in the most disadvantageous situation thus honoring the fighting traditions of the Spaniards who had defended their country from Napoleon Bonaparte’s experienced troops in 1808 or the Spanish Republic from the Nazi fascist attack in 1936.
An additional disgrace fell on the Norwegian committee that awards the Nobel Prize when in the year 1906 it looked for ridiculous pretexts to grant that honor to Theodore Roosevelt, who was elected President of the United States twice, in 1901 and 1905. His true involvement in the battles of Santiago de Cuba leading the Rough Riders was not even clear, and there could have been much legend in the publicity he later received.
I can only bear witness to the way in which the heroic city fell in the hands of the Rebel Army on January 1st, 1959.
Then, Marti’s ideas triumphed in our country!
Fidel Castro Ruz
May 18, 2010
Reflections of comrade Fidel
Two days ago, I said in a few words that imperialism was unable to solve the extremely serious problem of drug abuse, which has become a scourge for the people all over the world. Today, I wish to deal with another issue that I consider of major significance.
The current danger that the United States attacks North Korea, following the recent incident in the territorial waters of the latter, could perhaps be thwarted if the President of the People’s Republic of China decides to exercise the right to veto --a prerogative that country totally dislikes-- with respect to the agreements currently under discussion at the UN Security Council.
But, there is a second and more serious problem for which the United States has no possible answer; this is the conflict created involving Iran. This could be clearly seen coming since President Barack Obama made his speech at the Islamic University of Al-Azhar, in Cairo, on June 4, 2010.
In a Reflection I wrote only four days after that, --when I had access to an official copy of his remarks-- I used many parts of it to analyze its significance. I shall now mention some of them.
“We meet at a time of great tension between the United States and Muslims around the World...”
“…colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims, and a Cold War in which Muslim-majority countries were too often treated as proxies without regard to their own aspirations.”
This and other arguments sounded particularly impressive as they were voiced by an African-American US President; they resonated like the self-evident truths contained in the Declaration of Philadelphia of July 4, 1776.
“I've come here to Cairo to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world, one based on mutual interest and mutual respect …”
“As the Holy Quran tells us, "Be conscious of God and speak always the truth."”
“And I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.”
Thus, he continued dealing with thorny issues from the universe of insoluble contradictions involving US policies.
“In the middle of the Cold War, the United States played a role in the overthrow of a democratically elected Iranian government.”
“Since the Islamic Revolution, Iran has played a role in acts of hostage-taking and violence against U.S. troops and civilians.”
“America's strong bonds with Israel are well known. This bond is unbreakable.”
“Many wait in refugee camps in the West Bank, Gaza and neighboring lands for a life of peace and security that they have never been able to lead.”
Today, we know that white phosphorus and other inhumane and cruel substances are often dropped on the population of the Gaza Strip with a truly Nazi fascist frenzy. Still, Obama’s assertions seemed vibrant, and on occasions sincere, as he repeated them once and again during his feverish racing around the world, wherever he promptly arrived in his US Air Force One.
Yesterday, May 31, the international community was shocked when in international waters, --tens of thousands of miles off the coast of Gaza-- nearly one hundred Israeli paratroops jumped from helicopters, in the wee small hours, recklessly shooting on hundreds of peaceful people from various nationalities, causing them --according to press reports-- no less than 20 dead and scores of injured. There were also Americans among those under attack, who were carrying goods to the Palestinians besieged in their own homeland.
When Obama spoke at the Islamic University of Al-Azhar about “the overthrow of a democratically elected Iranian government” and immediately added that “since the Islamic Revolution, Iran has played a role in acts of hostage-taking and violence against U.S. troops and civilians...” he was referring to the revolutionary movement promoted by the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini who --from Paris and without a weapon-- crushed the Armed Forces of the most powerful US gendarme in South Asia. It was very difficult for the mightiest power of the world not to succumb to the temptation of setting up one of its military bases there, south of the USSR.
More than five decades back, the United States had subdued another absolutely democratic revolution when it overthrew the Iranian government headed by Mohammad Mossadegh, who had been elected Prime Minister of Iran on April 24, 1951. On May 1st that same year, the Senate approved the nationalization of oil, which had been his main demand during the struggle. “So far, our long years of negotiations with foreign countries have proved unsuccessful,” he said.
He obviously meant the big capitalist powers that controlled the world economy. In view of the intransigence of the British Petroleum, then known as the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, Iran seized its facilities.
The country was unable to train its technicians. The UK had withdrawn its skilled personnel and imposed a blockade on spare parts and markets. It had also sent the Royal Navy ready for action against that country. As a result, Iran’s oil production decreased from 241.4 million barrels in 1952 to 10.6 million in 1953. In such favorable conditions, the CIA organized the coup d’état that ousted Mossadegh, who passed away three years later. Then the monarchy was reinstated and a powerful US ally took power in Iran.
That is the only thing the United States has done with other nations. Ever since the creation of that country on the richest soils of the planet, it never respected the rights of the indigenous population living there for thousands of years or of those brought in as slaves by the English colonizers.
Nevertheless, I am sure that millions of smart and honest Americans understand these truths.
President Obama can make hundreds of speeches trying to accommodate irreconcilable contradictions to the detriment of truth; or he can dream of the magic of his well articulated phrases while making concessions to personalities and groups lacking in ethics. He can also portray fantastic worlds that only fit in his head, as they are planted there by unscrupulous advisors aware of his tendencies.
Two unavoidable questions: Will Obama be able to enjoy the excitement of a second presidential term without seeing the Pentagon or the State of Israel, --whose behavior shows that it does not accept the United States decisions—use their nuclear weapons on Iran? What will life on our planet be like after that?
Fidel Castro Ruz
June 1, 2010
Reflections by comrade Fidel
I had no choice but to write two reflections on Iran and Korea explaining the imminent danger of a war with the use of nuclear weapons. I have also expressed my opinion that in one of these cases the danger could be thwarted if China decided to veto the resolution promoted by the United States at the UN Security Council. The other depends of factors that escape any possibility of control, given the fanatic behavior of the State of Israel, which the United States has turned into a strong nuclear power that refuses to accept restraint from the superpower.
At the time of the first US intervention to crush the Islamic Revolution in June 1953, --in defense of its own interests and of those of its close ally the United Kingdom-- which placed Mohammad Reza Pahlevi in power, Israel was a small State that had yet to seize nearly the entire Palestinian territory, a portion of Syria and not a small part of neighboring Jordan that was still then defended by the Arab Legion, of which not a shadow was left after that.
Today, the hundreds of missiles with nuclear warheads, supported by the most sophisticated planes supplied by the United States, are threatening the security of every state in the region, both Arab and non-Arab, Muslim and non-Muslim, which are within the extensive operational range of its missiles capable of hitting barely a few meters from the target.
Last Sunday May 30, when I wrote the Reflection on Imperialism and Drugs, the brutal attack on the flotilla carrying food, medicines and other things for the one-and-a-half million Palestinians who are besieged in a small piece of what for thousands of years was their own Homeland, had not happened.
The overwhelming majority of people use their time to try to cope with the necessities that life brings on them --including food, the right to recreation and studying, and other crucial problems that afflict their closest relatives. They cannot stop to look at the information of what is going on in the planet. They can be found anywhere, with a noble expression on the face trusting that others will care to find the solutions to the problems that affect them. They are capable of rejoicing and laughing. Thus they cheer up those who have the privilege of observing with equanimity the realities threatening us all.
The very strange fabrication that North Korea had sunk the South Korean corvette Cheonan –designed with state of the art technology and equipped with a wide range sonar systems and submarine acoustic sensors—off the coast of that country meant blaming the former for the atrocious event that took the lives of 40 South Korean marines and caused injuries to tens of them.
I found it hard to unravel the problem. On the one hand, there was no way to explain how it could be possible for any government, regardless of its authority, to use the command mechanisms to order the launching of torpedoes against an insignia vessel. On the other hand, I did not believe for a second the story that Kim Jon IL had given that order.
I lacked the elements of judgment to enable me to reach a conclusion, but I had the certainty that China would veto a draft resolution in the Security Council leading to sanctions on North Korea. On the other hand, I had absolutely no doubt that the United States cannot prevent the use of the nuclear weapon by the uncontrollable Israeli government.
Late during the day of June 1st the veil was lifted off what really happened.
At 10:30 p.m. I listened to a sharp analysis by journalist Walter Martinez, the anchor of the Venezuelan TV star program Dossier. He concluded that the United States had misled the two Koreas into believing what each was saying about the other, this with the intent of solving the problem of the return of the territory occupied by the Okinawa base that the leader of Japan demanded echoing the people’s yearning for it. His Party had rallied great support during the elections based on his promise to achieve the withdrawal of the US military base stationed there, which is like a dagger stabbing for more than 65 years the heart of Japan, today a rich and developed nation.
The truly amazing details of what happened there have been known through Global Research, thanks to an article by Wayne Madsen, an investigative reporter working in Washington DC, who disseminated information from intelligence sources in the Web site Wayne Madsen Report.
These sources, he said, “…suspect that the attack on the corvette Cheonan of the South Korean Navy for submarine war was a false flag operation intended to make believe the attack was coming from North Korea.”
“One of the main purposes of increasing tension in the Korean peninsula was to put pressure on Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama to make him change his policy on the withdrawal of the US Marine Corps base from Okinawa. Hatoyama has admitted that tensions over the sinking of the Cheonan had a significant influence on his decision to allow the US marines to stay in Okinawa. Hatoyama’s decision has caused a split in the center-left coalition government, an event welcomed by Washington, in view of the threat of Mizuho Fukushima, leader of the Social Democratic Party, to leave the coalition due to the change of heart about Okinawa.
“The Cheonan was sunk near the Baengnyeong Island, in the extreme west, a place distant from the South Korean coast but in front of North Korea. The island is highly militarized and within range of the artillery fire of the North Korean coastal defenses, which are on the other side of a narrow canal.
“The Cheonan, a corvette designed for antisubmarine warfare, was equipped with a cutting-edge sonar system. Furthermore, it operated in waters with extensive hydrophone sonar systems and submarine acoustic sensors. The South Korean sonar and audio show no evidence of a torpedo, a submarine or a mini-submarine in the area. Since there is hardly any navigation in the canal, the sea was quiet at the moment of the sinking.
“However, the Island of Baengnyeong shelters a US-South Korean military intelligence base and US Navy SEALS [special forces] operate from this base. Also, as the Cheonan was sunk, there were four ships of the US Navy in the sector, as part of the US-South Korea exercise Foal Eagle. An investigation into the metal and chemical traces of the suspicious torpedo shows it is of German manufacture.
“It is suspected that the US Navy SEALS keep a sample of European torpedoes to make deniability plausible for attacks under false flag. Furthermore, Berlin does not sell torpedoes to North Korea, but Germany has close cooperation programs with Israel for the joint development of submarines and submarine weapons.
“The presence of the USS Salvor, one of the ships taking part in the Foal Eagle, so close to the Baengnyeong Island during the sinking of the South Korean corvette raises questions, too.
“The Salvor, a civilian salvage ship with the Navy, involved in mine-setting operations by the Thai marines in the Gulf of Thailand in 2006, was also in the vicinity at the moment of the explosion with an additional force of 12 deep-water divers.
“Beijing, satisfied with North Korean Kim Jon Il protestation of innocence after an urgent trip from Pyongyang to Beijing by train, suspects the role of the US Navy in the sinking of the Cheonan, associated to specific suspicions arising from the role played by the Salvor. The suspicions are the following:
“1. The Salvor was taking part in a mine-setting operation in the sea bottom. In other words, it was setting antisubmarine mines that are shot horizontally in the bottom of the sea.
“2. The Salvor was conducting a routine inspection and maintenance of mines in the sea bottom and programming them in an electronic activation mode --shot by sensitive trigger—as part of the inspection program.
“3. A SEALS diver attached a magnetic mine to the Cheonan, as part of a clandestine plan intended to influence the public opinion in South Korea, Japan and China.
“The tensions in the Korean peninsula have conveniently eclipsed every other item on the agenda of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in her visits to Beijing and Seoul.”
Thus, in an amazingly easy way, the United States was able to solve a major issue: to remove the National Unity government of Yukio Hatoyama’s Democratic Party, but at a very high cost:
1. It has deeply offended its allies in South Korea.
2. It has emphasized the skill and celerity with which his adversary Kim Jong IL acted.
3. It has enhanced the prestige of the Chinese power, whose President took personal action and with full authority sent the main leaders of China to talk with Emperor Akihito, with the Prime Minister and with other outstanding personalities of Japan.
The political leaders and the world public opinion have proof of the cynicism and absolute lack of scruples that characterize the United States imperial policy.
Fidel Castro Ruz
June 3, 2010
Reflections by comrade Fidel
When I was arrested in Mexico by the Security Federal Police, which as fate would have it found some of our movements suspicious even though we took every precaution to avoid being hit by Batista’s bloody hand, –as it was the case on January 10, 1929 when Machado’s agents murdered Julio Antonio Mella in Mexico’s capital-- the law enforcement agents thought that ours was one of those smugglers’ organizations acting illegally along the border of that poor nation in their commercial dealings with the mighty, industrialized and rich neighboring power.
Drugs were not an issue in Mexico then. Only later would such a problem overwhelmingly affect and bring enormous damages to not only that country but also to the rest of the continent.
The countries of Central and South America invest a great deal of energy in the struggle against the invasive cultivation of the coca leaves used to produce cocaine, a substance obtained with very aggressive chemical components that are extremely harmful to health and the human brain.
Such revolutionary governments as those of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and Bolivia are making special efforts to cut off its progress, as Cuba did timely.
Evo Morales had long ago proclaimed his people’s right to drink coca tea, an excellent traditional infusion of the ancient Aymara-Quechua culture. Preventing them from drinking it is like telling the English they cannot drink tea, a healthy habit imported from Asia, a region the United Kingdom conquered and colonized for hundreds of years.
Evo’s slogan was that “Coca is not cocaine.”
It’s odd that opium, a substance extracted from poppy, --the same as morphine-- and extremely harmful when consumed directly, --and which was the result of the foreign conquest and colonization of such countries as Afghanistan-- was used by the English colonialists as a currency that another country with an ancient culture, such as China, had to forcibly accept as payment for the sophisticated products that Europe received from China and that until then had paid with silver coins. An often cited example of that injustice, dating back to the first decades of the 19th century, is that “a Chinese worker who became an addict spent two thirds of his salary on opium leaving his family in dreadful poverty.”
In the year 1839, opium was already within reach of Chinese workers and farmers. That same year, United Kingdom’s Queen Victoria I imposed the First Opium War.
English and American tradesmen with strong support from the English Crown perceived the potential for major trade and profits. By then, many of the large US fortunes were based on that drug-trafficking.
It would be worthwhile asking the big power, the same that has almost one thousand military bases and seven fleets with nuclear aircraft carriers and thousands of combat planes used to exert tyranny on the world, how is it going to solve the drug issue.
Fidel Castro Ruz
May 30, 2010
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